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Review Highlights
Fantastic trip and amazing food

With amazing views and incredible food this is one of the best boat trips I have taken. The calm... read more

Reviewed September 7, 2018
Harry F
,
London, United Kingdom
via mobile
Great cruise!

It was exactly what we expect: nice boat, lovely team and well organised trip. We did the two... read more

Reviewed August 30, 2018
encarneta
,
Valencia, Spain
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All reviews handspan travel one night floating village private balcony two nights upgraded to a suite and spoke great english tai chi squid fishing great kayaking peaceful experience night trip great trip nice room extra night bai tu long bay spa bath
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This was the end of our 3,5 weeks vacation through Cambodia and Vietnam so we got ourselves a suite which was a great idea, spacious, nice bathroom and big couch.
Lunch and dinner leave you with a full stomach, a 2 day stay is a must otherwise you might feel rushed.
We weren’t able to completely relax since Duc, our guide, used to be a school teacher and had a strict timetable so when we just wanted to sit back and relax, Duc had already something planned, good thing he always did it with a smile but stil...
The people at Handspan who organized everything are very professional, thank you Annie for your kind email responses.
I would certainly book with them again.

Thank TammyBart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We did the 1 night tour. Beautiful scenery and friendly and polite staff and the food was great. However, I was just a bit underwhelmed given how much the tour cost. Perhaps I would feel differently if the weather had been better as we did not get to go to the beach or go swimming. The 'cooking demonstration' was rolling up some pre-mixed ingredients into a spring roll, the film entertainment was a Dvd which skipped a lot. Drinks were expensive, when even a Westerner can pay half the price on the mainland (a can of beer or a juice was $3) and there was corkage even for bringing your own soft drinks on board. Honestly I think it wouldn't be unreasonable to include 1 drink with each meal from a set menu as part of the cruise cost. Going to Fishermen's village it is suggested you tip the rower, I have no problem with them being tipped and it was only ~$1 per person, but again I think this should have been covered by what we had paid already since this was part of the pre-organised itinerary. A tip box for the staff came out at the end, this was not forced in any way it was just on a table, but we did feel bad if we did not put anything, so we ended up putting money in there. Again, when you pay so much for a high end cruise it seems like the staff should be paid well enough not to tip... the luxury and customer service has been paid for before you get on the boat.

Thank Helen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2018 via mobile

With amazing views and incredible food this is one of the best boat trips I have taken. The calm ocean makes for a comfortable ride and a delicious menu for lunch and dinner made the trip extra special. All of the rooms were clean and their staff were friendly and accommodating. Would recommend for families and friends.

1  Thank Harry F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2018 via mobile

We had a great time and fantastic service on the boat. That said, there were a few dubious history lessons by the tour guide I found a bit concerning. The guide asked at one point during our kayaking trip if we knew who Pol Pot or the Khmer Rouge were and why they committed genocide of intellectuals in Cambodia. I was the only one who did and I volunteered that it was because they followed a Marxist, racist ideology and wanted to establish a single agrarian class to work the land and be fully self sufficient as a nation. I was told this was “wrong” and that they committed genocide because China wanted them to or made them (details unclear, but China was blamed), in order to prevent them from joining with Vietnam and Laos to form a single country called Indochina. A simple google search proves this untrue. China supported the Khmers to some degree because they were in fact at war with Vietnam. They wanted Cambodia to be completely self sufficient—the opposite of what our guide told us. This was all preceded by a bunch of very, very general history of Chinese invasions in the 900s AD. It bothered me that those, including all in the tour but me, who were unaware of the true history (again, you can simply verify the facts on google) might take the guide’s word for it and be so misinformed by such a skewing of the facts. I understand that free speech is not a given in Vietnam and I understand that there could be repercussions for saying certain things. Therefore, I would have much preferred to have just skipped the history lesson (I do not take the history of a genocide lightly) and focused on the recreational activities run by Handspan, which were highly enjoyable. Additionally, we were taken to a rest stop half way between Ha Noi and the bay that the guide described as a “school for disabled persons” and implied that they were disabled due to the effects of agent orange. The Handspan itinerary, however, noted this as a tourist spot we take you to only because it is a clean bathroom half way through the drive. Had the guide repeated this I wouldn’t take issue. Upon arrival to the stop, it seemed much more like a factory in which disabled persons stitch tapestries and donations are asked for them. There is no way to verify that any of this is true—I would have preferred the guide not repeat this info, as it was highly suspicious to me. At best they are using these persons to sell overpriced snacks and souvenirs to tourists. All of that being said, the service by the wait staff and the boat itself were impeccable. Room clean and well furnished, food delicious, everything was run efficiently and on time. Would recommend with a disclaimer of the history, something that happened to deeply irk me as a person interested in such things. I would recommend that Handspan just skip that part from now on and keep the tours simply recreational.

2  Thank nickI3032IE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2018

It was exactly what we expect: nice boat, lovely team and well organised trip. We did the two nights trip and we recommend it.

Thank encarneta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2018 via mobile

We booked a 2D1N cruise hoping that we would be able to escape the crowds by choosing this much more expensive alternative. The drive there was easy, but boarding the boat took another hour of just sitting around. At first, our guide Giang was very enthusiastic, although by the 2nd day it felt as if he was disinterested and even a bit annoyed. The food was amazing, the crew friendly and the boat clean. However, we found the activities to be lacking. The kayaking trip took us to a beach flooded with plastic. This did not make any sense to us? Would much rather help to collect some dirt rather than just hear “you can go for a swim now”. Wish our guide would have had something to pick up some trash, like some guides from other boats did. Squid-fishing activity at night virtually did not happen. Cooking class consisted of everyone rolling up one Spring roll. Plus, drink prices on the boat are way too high.

1  Thank sebastianb124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2018 via mobile

We booked the master suite, since it was our honey moon. The Jacuzzi tub's water would not get hot-tried to take a bath multiple times. We were looking forward to the private balcony, except it was literally shared with the other suite. I really felt misled and cheated!
The bamboo boat through the fishing village was awkward.
We kayaked to a beach to swim, but the water was very dirty and full of trash..there was broken glass on the shore.

Our tour guide was very nice and helpful, but we switched guides halfway though, which was odd and unfortunate.

The staff was friendly and helpful. The food was delicious.

Thank Kristina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2018

Well organised trip from being picked up from the hotel to our return. Very friendly team from Handspan and on the boat. We did the one night cruise. The programme included canoeing cooking demonstration and a tour by boat of the floating village.
The dinning on the Treasure Junk was excellent but we had a job to eat it all!
Cabins snug but well appointed. Thank a great tour

Thank Jack B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2018

I thought this was a really good cruise and I would recommend this company. It is a nice size boat, not too small but not giant either. They sail to a quieter place in the bay, which is really nice. The booking process was easy and went well for me. The van/bus was really nice. Food was really good and staff was friendly. My tour guide on the way to Ha Long was really great and got to know all of us. As a solo traveler I think all of these cruises would be a bit odd because I got my own table at meals, but it was nice. I think other cruises do more of a community table seating. Sucks to pay the solo supplement, but most companies had that. I booked ahead so couldn't really negotiate that. I think they could do a bit better on the "eco friendly" bit, maybe get rid of the plastic they use, or perhaps talk about the bay more (or even just offer some reading about the bay). I was happy to see our tour guide plucking trash from the bay when we kayaked past some big chunks of foam that blew in, and trying to help clean up the beach a bit. Nice to see he cared about the bay, even when he probably didn't have to do that.

Thank cheryl p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2018 via mobile

We spent two nights on the Tresure Junk in the suite cabin. Overall it was an exellent experience. The food was traditional Vietamese cusine, and prepared in a delicate manner, and was truly delicious. The crew on the Boat and our Guide Song(Kevin) made the experience unforgettable. My wife and three children (16,14,12) loved it. Would highly recomend this boat and crew.

Thank Roger M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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